Due to director Joel Schumacher’s mishandling of the story and a misinterpretation of what the character was and stood for, fans of Batman were uncertain whether their beloved superhero would ever return as his true self or even to the big screen. Thankfully, director Christopher Nolan agreed to take on the challenge of breathing life back into the near dead franchise, thanks in part to Schumacher’s Batman & Robin. That meant making the story realistic and showing Batman as he was always meant to be shown: dark, brooding and smart.
Author Umar Shameem
Director Marc Webb believes strongly in subtlety, and it comes across in all the right ways in The Amazing Spider-Man. If you are you are not careful, you may miss what a character is feeling or conveying to another. Webb respects the audience’s intelligence, and banks on the relatable aspect of Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s predicament, to present a story with tons of action, visual wonders, and key moments that allow us to come to an understanding of the underlying motivations of each character. Webb does an excellent job of modernizing the Spider-Man origins story, while redoing what we have already seen many times over in a fresh and imaginative way.
After years of build up and waiting, Joss Whedon presents The Avengers and it is everything that we hoped it would be. Whedon seems to have done what many thought to be impractical, he took the best of all the previous Marvel Studios films and put together a blockbuster movie that is smart, full of amazing visuals, great action, and has wonderful character interactions.
Joe Johnston impresses with his surprisingly heart-felt depiction of one of Marvel’s most famous superheroes. Even with great special effects, fun battles and cleverly subtle nods to the different appearances of Captain America throughout the years, the main enjoyment comes from the remarkably serious and endearing performance by Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America.
Kenneth Branagh has done a wonderful thing with Thor; he has made it something different from what an ordinary person would think the film would be about and do what a true fan hoped he would. With the great mythology of the Norse Gods as a source material, Marvel Comics created a comic book series that would bring ancient mythologies to modern times. Branagh had the challenge to bring this immensely rich material to the big screen, and he did it with surprisingly a great deal of humour. Thor behaved more like a Shakespearean theatre play with great effects than an actual comic book action film, and it worked well.
Kenneth Branagh has done a wonderful thing with Thor; he has made it something different from what an ordinary person would think the film would be about and do what a true fan hoped he would.
After watching Iron Man 2, one cannot help but feel that the fame of the first film has gone to director Jon Favreau’s head. While still a good film and enjoyable overall, Iron Man 2 has none of its predecessor’s originality, subtlety or modesty. The film begins where the previous installment left off, with Stark proclaiming himself Iron Man and the world’s reaction to it. At the same time, the main villain, Whiplash (played by Mickey Rourke), is introduced as having lost his father and blaming the Starks for it. He creates his own power source, like the one Stark made in the first film, and attacks Stark but ultimately loses. In the meantime, Iron Man has brought peace to the world by going around in the Iron Man suit and stopping all conflict. However, the American government is not convinced that Iron Man, nor Stark himself, is a sufficient deterrent to world conflicts and believe they should have the technology behind Iron Man in case anything should happen to Stark. Stark refuses to turn the technology to anyone, but secretly discovers that the device that is keeping his heart running is slowly poisoning him and begins to set his affairs in order.
It feels obvious that Louis Leterrier’s The Incredible Hulk was made out of a reaction to Ang Lee’s Hulk if one has watched both films. Both were made for about the same amount of money, did relatively the same at the box office, and were received by fans and audiences with just as much mixed feelings. However, Leterrier chooses to reinvent the Hulk franchise by going in an opposite direction than Lee, in that he will focus primarily on the excitement and action of the character rather than the emotional and psychological depths. To put it simply, Lee dealt with the reason why the Hulk is who he is, and Leterrier deals with how Hulk battles those around him.
The results of a Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. collaboration is one that creates an unexpectedly entertaining, funny and strong film that chronicles one of comic’s lesser known superheroes. Iron Man is a surprisingly good addition to the comic book movie industry, while also making new ground as it hints at the possibility of a team of superheroes in the near future.
Guillermo del Toro does a great job of bringing an obscure and complex character from the comics and making an origins story that is both interesting and imaginative. However, del Toro cannot take the full credit for Hellboy’s success, since it really is Ron Perlman’s depiction of the demonic hero that is the true treasure to see.
While it may not be as groundbreaking, as dark as it could have been, nor as faithful to its source material as other comic book animated films, Justice League: Doom is an enjoyable and fitting adaption of the “JLA: Tower of Babel” story and is a good film for the esteemed Dwayne McDuffie to have ended off on before his untimely death.